Star Wars: The Old Republic will be "the last large scale MMO to use the traditional subscription business model", according to Sony Online Entertainment President John Smedley.
In recent months several large MMOs have gone free-to-play, most recently SOE's own DC Universe Online, and Smedley unsurprisingly thinks this is the way the whole MMO genre will go.
"We see some very interesting trends in subscription gaming," he said in a GamesIndustry editorial piece.
"In our cancellation surveys for EverQuest II, fully 40 per cent of the people that fill them out list subscription fees as one of the primary reasons they quit. Economic times are hard out there and a recurring subscription is something that glares at you from a credit card bill every month. For some people, saving money starts with getting rid of subscriptions that hit the credit card every month."
He went on: "It's fair to say that subscriptions are likely going to be a strong component of revenue for the foreseeable future, although I don't believe they will be remotely as dominant over time."
Smedley goes on to say BioWare's upcoming MMO, while almost certain to be successful, could be the last of its kind as a major MMO using the old subscription model.
"There's another large juggernaut coming out soon in Star Wars: The Old Republic from EA/Bioware. That's a game that I think has a legitimate shot at a 2 million subscription user base and I believe they will stick with the subscription method," he said.
"In my opinion this is going to be the last large scale MMO to use the traditional subscription business model. Why do I think that? Simply put, the world is moving on from this model and over time people aren't going to accept this method. I'm sure I'm going to hear a lot about this statement. But I am positive I'm right."
Have you been coaxed into trying an MMO for the first time recently after hearing about it going free-to-play? And more importantly, have you gone back to it to keep playing?